Korean Ceramifiable® cables that can take the heat

Safeguarding nature

Because marine and offshore disasters not only cost lives, but damage ecosystems, rigorous tests are demanded, including Hydrocarbon Fire (HCF) tests. Nexans Kukdong has developed a new HCF-resistant cable that can function under 1100°C fire conditions in accordance with NEK TS 606.

Cool in the pool

Hydrocarbon fires, or “pool fires,” are turbulent. Fuel floats horizontally, usually in a circle, e.g. a burning oil/gas slick. Their temperatures rise rapidly to 1000°C and then to 1100°C within minutes. HCF cables can withstand these harsh fire conditions, continuing to carry current to save lives and control damage.

Hard-baked solution

Our competition had already introduced HCF cables based on “air tunnel on layer” designs, and thermal expansion polyolefin resins. We wanted to out-patent them. To carry current safely, conductors need insulation; but during a fire, polymer insulations, fillers, beddings and sheaths are all reduced to ash. This was complicated because shipboard and offshore cables contain water-repellent (hygroscopic) fillers, which produce lethal gas emissions. So we chose Ceramifiable® technologies, which turn outer layers into a protective fire-resistant ceramic during a fire.

Ready to spring

As the world’s leading supplier for the shipboard/offshore market, presenting the HCF cable to potential buyers is a top priority for Kukdong. Now that approval has been obtained from a nationally recognized testing laboratory, ETL, we will be showing it at naval exhibitions and bidding for overseas and domestic (Korean) shipyards. Currently, offshore owners do not satisfy the 820°C requirements, and these are about to rise, including additional water spray criteria, which we also meet. This will give our customers additional capabilities, which were not available so far.